Sunderland v Leeds United: Christiansen’s predicting ‘tough’ test at Black Cats

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.
Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.
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LEEDS United head coach Thomas Christiansen believes another “tough game” at Championship hosts Sunderland tonight will be decided by which team makes the fewest mistakes.

United and Sunderland are both unbeaten after their first three league games with Simon Grayson’s Black Cats sixth after an opening day 1-1 draw at home to Derby was followed by 3-1 victory at Norwich City and a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.

For seventh-placed Leeds, an opening weekend 3-2 triumph at Bolton Wanderers has been followed by goalless draws at home to Preston North End and Fulham. Only goal difference separates the sides on the early Championship ladder and Christiansen is predicting a typically tight and tough game at the Stadium of Light as a result.

“I believe, again, it’s going to be a tough game,” said Christiansen. “There will be no easy games in this league and we will face a very good opponent that has a lot of experience and who are playing at home. They have had good results so it will be a tough game.

“But I believe in my team in the possibility to take that good result and of course trying to go for the three points. I believe the team who makes the least mistakes will take the win.”

Sunderland are bidding to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt after last season’s relegation but Christiansen is taking little notice of the pressure on the hosts as a result.

“It depends on how you manage that pressure,” said United’s head coach,

“I like to have the pressure and I am fine with that.

“The thing is of course with a team like Sunderland who have just come from the Premier League, they want to come back as soon as possible.

“Of course they will have more pressure, they have better and higher budgets but at the end it will all be decided on the pitch.

“Of course we have to focus on the opponent but the idea is always to go for the three points doing our best and the things that we know that we do best.”